Orthotics are footwear inserts that help provide foot support and alleviate discomfort, pressure, pain, imbalance, and other symptoms caused by foot and ankle deformities, injuries, misalignments, and degenerative diseases. Orthotics are custom-molded and prescribed by a Podiatrist. , Foot inserts can be purchased over-the-counter as well.
Prescription orthotics are custom-fitted and molded to address a patient’s specific foot structure, gait, and ailment, whereas over-the-counter inserts add some support and treat minor discomfort. Doctor-prescribed orthotics are more durable and provide more support and correction compared to over-the-counter inserts. Prescription orthotics are fitted and constructed using innovative technology that is generated from a mold of the foot in the corrected position, providing Podiatrists and orthotic laboratories with an analysis of the foot. A custom orthotic addresses the patient’s unique foot structure and walking style.
Orthotics are used to treat a range of foot and ankle conditions, including but not limited to bunions, corns, calluses, high arches, flat feet, in-toeing/out-toeing, big toe ailments, hammertoe, claw toe, forefoot pain, neuropathic ulcerations, and heel pain.
The two main classifications of orthotics are accommodative and functional; accommodative orthotics are softer and provide extra support and cushioning for improved comfort and reduced distress on the problem area of the foot, whereas functional orthotics are more rigid and treat problems and pain associated with foot and ankle motion. Shapes, sizes, and materials used to construct orthotics vary, depending on the needs of the patient. Common types of inserts are arch supports, insoles, heel pads, and foot cushions.